Looking Back at Silverstein’s of New Bedford [PHIL-OSOPHY]
I want to help get the word out about an interesting reunion of anybody who has ever worked at Silverstein's. Everyone – part-time, full-time, summer or holiday helpers – is invited to get together.
The store closed more than 25 years ago and 94-year-old legendary business luminary Joe Silverstein wants to see all the people who were so loyal to the Silverstein family and their brand.
It's quite the endeavor, seeing how there are over 150 former employees. So far, about 26 people called Joe and gladly accepted his invitation to reunite at the Black Whale on Tuesday, June 15 at 1 p.m.
How many of you have memories of shopping at Silverstein's, where they called you by your first name and where the customer was truly appreciated and looked after? Barnet Silverstein, a Lithuanian immigrant, founded Silverstein's in 1900, from the sales of sewing needles and cloth. Any family business that spans five generations deserves renowned status.
Naturally, a number of the former employees have passed away, but much like a 25th year high school reunion, Joe is trying his best to get the word out to as many people as possible to call him to reserve a seat.
The Paleologos family has so much respect for all the Silversteins. Both of our families grew up working in businesses that served the public. During our chat, Joe was lamenting that he missed eating at the Shawmut Diner, and asked me if I missed it. How can you not miss something that my wife Celeste and Andrea, Athena, Alex and Aleksis, and I were loyal to, day in and day out?
Joe Silverstein's event will evoke a lot of nostalgia – a Greek word meaning a bittersweet desire to return to an earlier time in life.
Editor's Note: Joe Silverstein has been overwhelmed by all of the calls and messages since this story first was published, and asked that we remove his contact information.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.